Look after your wheelbarrow

A wheelbarrow is a key piece of equipment around the yard, allotment, and garden. A wheelbarrow saves time and helps you avoid back strain and repeated journeys to and fro.


1. The handles

The wheelbarrow handles are the first point of call,  try to clean them after each job. Once the mud dries on them it takes more time and effort to clean than if you just give them a good brush and wipe. Replace the handle grips if necessary, there are many colours available which can help jazz up your wheelbarrow with little effort. When replacing grips, ensure the new ones are the right diameter and it is recommended to soak new ones in warm water before fitting.

2. The barrow

The barrow should be cleaned after each use and the longer you leave it between cleans, the more time-consuming and laborious the process is.

Use a hard brush to brush and scrape the earth and debris off with a good strong blast with a hosepipe/jet washer. Make sure it’s dry before you put it away so it doesn’t mould or rust.

3. The axle

The axle needs oil to ensure smooth movement as the wheel turns. Regularly check that there is enough oil or grease so that it is running nicely. If your wheelbarrow has a bearing or spindle fitting on the wheel apply grease to this as well,  when necessary. If there isn’t one, lubricate the axle with a 3-in-1 oil. Replace parts if necessary.

4. The wheels

Keep an eye on the tyre and keep it inflated at the correct pressure. There is no need to inflate to the maximum psi as this is likely to burst the innertube.

There are few things as annoying as flat wheelbarrow tyres. If you keep getting them it may be worth investing in a solid tyre.

5. Storage

All tools need to be stored in a shed or outbuilding and this is also true of the wheelbarrow. This keeps them hidden (and preferably locked) out of view and protects them from heat, sun, ice, snow and everything else that our weather throws at us.

Rust, rot and seising wheels result from keeping wheelbarrows outside and it means that you end up spending more time cleaning and maintaining than is necessary.